The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4069093
Posted By: Steve Shaw
21-Aug-20 - 06:41 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
I found this ridiculous recipe on the Guardian website. It's vegan, it's cheap, it's hardly any work - and it works.

All you need for two people is two cans of plum tomatoes, a 250g pouch of cooked lentils, olive oil, salt and spaghetti. Now here in the UK you can buy cans of plum tomatoes that are unsalted. Essential, I'd say. You can also buy 250g pouches of puy lentils, Merchant Gourmet brand, which are very good. You could use canned lentils, or you could boil up your own. But why work?

There are steps that are counter-intuitive, but have faith...

Gently empty the two cans of tomatoes into a sieve. Catch the juice and use it for something else (I drank mine). Rinse the tomatoes gently (honest!), then dry them as much as possible (I spooned them onto two layers of kitchen towel). Aim to keep them whole. Put the tomatoes into an ovenproof container that will accommodate them snugly. Almost cover them with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. Bake them open for two hours at 120C, which is about 250F.

When they're done, get your lentils hot and slightly sloppy in a pan. Smash up your oily tomatoes and add them to the lentils. Keep the mixture hot. Check for sufficient salt. Meanwhile, cook 250g spaghetti as usual. Drain, put back in the pan and add the tomato/lentil mix.

I tell you, this trouble-free dish has potential. With a new recipe I always follow the amounts and instructions slavishly. But next time I will bake a whole garlic clove with the tomatoes, I'll sprinkle in a touch of crushed chilli flakes and some freshly-ground black pepper and pay close attention to the saltiness (I underdid it slightly tonight). But no cheese and no herbs, and definitely no onion.

We decided that cheese was not needed. This dish was so easy, so cheap and so tasty. You just have to remember to get the tomatoes in the oven two hours before you need to eat. I'm growing San Marzano tomatoes this year but they're a bit slow to ripen. When I have enough red ones I'll skin them and use them in this recipe.